The Death of Conchobar

Aided Chonchobuir
Liber Flavus Fergusiorum
Version C

Translated by Kuno Meyer

1. The men of Ulster were holding a great gathering in the plain of Murthemne. Then towards the gathering came Bochrach, a poet and druid of the men of Leinster, having come out of Leinster after learning poetry. Of him Conchobar asked tidings of Alba and Leth Moga.

2. "There is great tidings indeed," said he, "which have happened in the eastern world, even the crucifying of the King of Heaven and Earth by the Jews ; and He it is whom seers and druids have prophesied. To save and to rescue the men of the world from the sin of Adam He came from holy heaven ; and He assumed flesh from the Virgin Mary without the presence of man ; and to save the human race He went upon the tree of the cross by command of the Jews. About Easter He went from us and arose on the third day after His suffering," viz., Altus also had told this. 'Tis he who used to come with messages and with treasures and precious things from Tiberius Caesar Augustus, even the king of the Romans, and the king of the world, to Conchobar son of Ness, to Emain Macha. For at that time stewards of the king of the world were equally over the centre of the world and in the islands of the setting and rising sun, so that every famous story that happened was equally known in the whole world.

3. In that way the manner in which the crucifixion of Christ happened became known to Conchobar. For Altus told him that it was Christ who had made Heaven and Earth, and that He had assumed flesh from the Virgin Mary for the sake of redeeming the human race. Altus himself, however, was a believer. 'Tis therefore he told the story of Christ well, and Conchobar believed in Christ.

4. Or 'tis thus it happened.

On the day that Christ was crucified, Conchobar was at a gathering, and the nobles of the men of Ireland around him. Now when darkness came upon the sun, and the moon turned into the colour of blood, Conchobar asked of Cathbad what ailed the elements. "Thy own foster-brother," said he, "He who was born on the same night as you, is now undergoing martyrdom and has been put on the cross, and that is what this portends." At that Conchobar arises and takes his weapons upon him, and he said : "He is indeed my foster-brother and coeval, and 'tis He that was born in the same night with me," and then he made an onslaught from thence until he reached the sea, and he went into it up to his teeth. 'Tis during the onslaught then that Conchobar sang this lay : "Twas a pity that the Jews after a King's death," etc.

5. And thereupon Conchobar said : "The men of the world would know what I can do in fighting against the Jews for the sake of the crucifixion of Christ, if I were near Him." Then he rose and made the onslaught, until Mesgegra's brains jumped out of his head, so that Conchobar died forthwith. Hence the Gaels say that Conchobar was the first pagan who went to Heaven in Ireland, for the blood that sprang out of his head was a baptism to him. And then Conchobar's soul was taken to hell until Christ encountered her as He brought the captive host out of hell, so that Christ took the soul of Conchobar with Him to Heaven. Finit.

Sources : Kuno Meyer, The Death-Tales of the Ulster Heroes - 1906